Tuesday, August 9, 2011
A few more thoughts on Invasion From Outer Space
I think it's worth pointing out that Invasion, while a skirmish-level "wargame," doesn't get into any nitty gritty details about what your character is doing in the sens of tracking postures, facing or the like. You character is simply in a space, carrying one or two items. About the only detail that's tracked is whether it's a 2-handed item, in which case you can just carry one. This is much less detail than, for example, Munchkin.
This opens up the possibility for some house rules if you want to create a stronger narrative for the game, at the cost of slowing it down. Still, I could see importing some rules from more detailed skirmish-level games without too much trouble. This would work especially well if you have just one hero per player. If there's a drawback to the game it is that it might be too simple for the more hard-core gamer types if they're only handling one character.
I also think that inexperienced hero teams should probably be given an extra "life" or two, as the learning curve is really quite steep. In a game the other night the Heroes got off to a real strong start in am "Invasion" scenario, killing 16 Martians without a loss -- and then they lost two heroes in the same turn and were done. Perhaps a group with no experienced players should be given two extra heroes in the Invasion scenario (and they really have no business playing any of the other scenarios at all). If a set of Heroes has half or more inexperienced players they should get one extra hero life. In this case I'd define an inexperienced player as someone who has never played, has only played the Invasion scenario or hasn't played in a year or more.
As I mentioned, there are two scenarios (Blow 'em Out of the Sky and Unleashed) that are really for experienced players only and I don't think they can afford to have any inexperienced players to have a chance, but should they insist they probably should also get extra chances with dead heroes.
Another balancing mechanic would be to give players an extra hero card or two, but I think more replacement heroes is probably more helpful. Using the cards properly requires some undertsanding of the game and probably won't help a newbie much, while being able to survive a run of bad luck that leaves your hero dead is the sort of break a newbie can use.